The Implications of the Resurrection – (Acts 2:22-26)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the most significant event in the history of the human race. Its implications were not only felt in the first century, but continue to be felt today, as the resurrected Christ continues to spread His reign and rule in the hearts of men everywhere.

Let us look at some of those implications.  First of all for the apostles: prior to seeing the risen Lord, they were all huddled in an upper room with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. After the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they are in the middle of Jerusalem proclaiming that Jesus is the promised Messiah and that He rose from the dead and everyone who believes on Him will be saved.  Peter, who once denied his Lord for fear of being arrested, is now fearlessly and boldly proclaiming to the world that Jesus is the Christ. All of the apostles, except for John, went on to seal their testimony with their blood.

Skeptics have tried to come up with theories regarding the empty tomb and resurrection appearances of Christ, but none of these theories even comes close to explaining the transformed lives of the apostles and hundreds of millions of people since then, who bear testimony to the work of the risen Christ in their lives. In fact the scripture tells us that there will be “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” standing before the throne and worshiping God and the Lamb.

Secondly we’ll look at the implications of the resurrection to the world.  The resurrection validates all of Christ’s claims to be the Son of God and Savior of the world.  It testifies to the world that the Word of God is true.  As Paul states in citing an early Christian creed (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), everything about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was done in accordance with scripture.

Finally, the implications of the resurrection to us believers: We have the joy of knowing that God has accepted Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins; we have access to the throne of God through our advocate; we no longer fear death, because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; and we can live victorious Christian lives through the power of the risen Christ. Amen!

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You Crucified . . . God Raised – Acts 2:14-41

Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24 ESV)

 The greatest crime in world history was the murder of the Son of God. The only perfect Person to walk the earth was rejected, accused of sins he did not commit, mocked, beaten, and nailed to a wooden cross. Jesus’ crucifixion was the response of human hearts that could not stand the fact that God himself had entered their domain to bring truth and light.

This heinous act was no surprise to the sovereign Lord. In fact, Isaiah foretold that “it pleased the Lord to bruise him” and Jesus himself said that “God gave his only son” for the world. God, knowing the motives of man, sent his beloved Son into a world hostile to his purpose and message, knowing that they would resist and kill him.

How do followers of the Crucified One declare the truth of the gospel to a world so set against God that they murdered his Son? Pointedly, with conviction and hope. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost demonstrates as much. Facing Jews from around the world, Peter stood upon the foundation of the Word of God and boldly proclaimed to the people that they themselves were responsible for killing the Miracle Worker in their midst (Acts 2:22-23). He did not excuse them from culpability, a culpability borne by all sinners, for it was for sinners that Christ died.

The world’s hatred for all things godly is so overwhelming that when God himself came on the scene, he was killed. This is a grim picture. It may even seem hopeless. As we walk through this life we feel the opposition from the same world. They hated Christ. Christ said they will hate his followers. They are still trying to stamp out his image wherever they find it. We should not be surprised when the world tries to ignore, shout down, redefine, or punish the truth. After all, they nailed the Truth to a cross.

If Christ remained dead, then the world, and ultimately Satan, won. No anticipation for a new, better world. No point in praying. No hope for lost loved ones. Addiction is unbreakable, ignorance is inescapable, sin is unstoppable. If this world can destroy Christ our Hope, then all hope is lost. If Christ remained dead.

But, Peter exclaims, “God raised him up.”

And that changes everything.